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  • Rachel Terlop

Who is your cheerleader?

The past week has been hectic, draining, exciting, stressful, and awesome - all at the same time. Actually, now that I think about it, that would be the way I would explain this entire school year. There is no way I would have been able to do this week, this month, or this year without cheerleaders in my life.

Cheerleader: 1. a member of a team that performs organized cheering, chanting, and dancing in support of a sports team. 2. an enthusiastic and vocal supporter.

I am thinking more of the second definition. I have had the opportunity in my career to meet exceptional educators, and work for empowering professionals, and I am honored to have them on my team. The events of this week caused me to stop, step back, and acknowledge the incredible people in my life.


Saturday: Sleepover with two of my team members who inspire me to try new things on a daily basis.

Sunday: Recharge day with the husband, my ultimate cheerleader. Recharging included our Easter tradition of watching The Dark Knight Rises.

Monday: First day back from Spring Break (only 13 kids came to school), and staff meeting. First days back are always filled with redirection, and reminders. The day ended with a lovely phone conversation with my former classroom co-teacher, reminding me of why I started, and that I am not a tree.

Tuesday: Second day back after Spring Break (all the kids came back), and the day felt like one of the first days of school. Leaving the day I felt an overwhelming sense of defeat, because in April I feel sad when we struggle to transition. PTA meeting lasted until 7, which made for a late day getting home. Thankfully, the day concluded with phone conversation with my empowering and inspiring friend who I met during Breathe for Change. She mentioned that she noticed I was disconnect and disjointed - its amazing to me that she picked up on that through texting, and called to talk through the day. My connectivity problem stemmed from the day and a lot on my mind...



Wednesday: School and Observation. The observation was in my undergraduate night class. Currently, I have two eager educators in my class, and as a second semester adjunct, I have yet to be observed in this role. My supervisor was my professor during my Masters program, and

she was the one who hired me and brought me into School of Education as an adjunct.

She checks in with me once a week, is one of the most encouraging women I have ever met, and pushes me to develop my craft through attending conferences, and presenting what I am working on/researching. Even after she finished as my professor, she still has taken days to come into my classroom, to work with my students. Having her in my undergraduate class was a treat, as she jumped right in and participated in our lesson for the evening.


Thursday: Donors Choose project resources were delivered to the school, and I was able to prepare a project to end our geography/geology unit with a bang! I realized how much support I felt this week, and asked the students to identify who their biggest cheerleaders are. We identified ones in the morning, and in the afternoon. Some students even took time to write little notes to that person, or go visit them during the day to share their appreciation. We simply need to be around the people to light us up. Happy Hour with a former colleague who came into the city, just for the day was a wonderful end to a bustling day.

Friday: Half-day of school for record keeping, and 20 minute conversation with my principal about what I am looking to accomplish in my career as an educator. Hubby and I went out for a wonderful evening together, celebrating big changes.

Saturday: Learned how to connect multiple calls, and had a half hour conference call with four other members of my team as we were all hyping each other up about projects we are working on in our personal lives.


In a weeks time, a lot has happened. I am making some moves in my career, and it is an exciting and stressful time in the Terlop house. However, this week I am thankful for all those people who touch my life and help me navigate. Looking back over this week, I can hardly the things that made me heavily sigh, or the things I complained to my husband about - what I can see is that everyday, I have spent time with people who replenish my energy and support my spirit. I have some incredible cheerleaders in my life - some who have been on this journey with me for years, and some for months, but I am overwhelmed with gratitude for them all.


Who is your biggest cheerleader?

Thank you Chris, Mommy, Pa, Rebecca, Pete, Sarah, Jenny, Shannon, Nicole, Jamie, Stephanie, Lindsey, Shaina, Dr, S, and Adam. You really helped me this week.


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Rachel Terlop

2019 Henry Ford Innovation Nation Teacher of the Year

Social Emotional Learning and Facilitation Coach

Certified Family Trauma Professional (CFTP)

Early Childhood B.S.Ed & M.A.T. and RYT-200